Over the last couple of years I’ve worked on a few books with Apress. I have to say that although I’d already done a lot of writing in the past, working on these books was pretty challenging. I owe a great deal to my various co-authors as well as to the awesome team at Apress. It goes without saying that none of these books would have actually made it out the door without all of their help!

I have also had the privilege of acting as a Technical Reviewer for Windows 7 Made Simple and Getting Start with Windows 7. As some might have guessed, I have a preference for Linux and the Mac but I am still up to speed on Windows!

Learn Raspberry Pi with Linux

The Raspberry Pi is one of the most inspiring things to happen to the IT industry for a long time. Although it was only anticipated to be a learning tool with a relative small user base, it has already grown far beyond that and found a home with thousands of people. The Raspberry Pi runs Linux which means that anyone who wants to get up to speed with one needs to know some Linux as well.

This book is all about learning Linux on the Pi so that you can get up to speed quickly and easily. It was written with David Hows and we believe it’s one of the best beginners books on the Raspberry Pi available today!

Practical Load Balancing

This book is the combined effort of three separate authors (myself, Eelco Plugge and David Hows) and two technical reviewers (Richard Periera and Brendan Horan). The book will start at the beginning and explain what load balancing is and more importantly what it is not. It will teach you how to find out exactly where the pressure points are so you don’t need to guess. Once you know where the problems are, you will learn how to relieve them, what solutions are most appropriate and which technologies can help you.

If you run your own website and are finding that your server is struggling under the load but you’re not sure what to do about it - this book is definitely for you!

The Definitive Guide to CentOS

This was the first book I worked on and the pitch I sold to Apress was that although there were quite a few books out there that mentioned CentOS, there was nothing actually dedicated to it. Sure there were books on Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux that also talked about CentOS, but it seemed to me to be an after thought, taking advantage of the similarities between them.

The Definitive Guide to CentOS is the first dedicated CentOS book in the world, the first to receive the CentOS Project stamp of approval and I had the great opportunity to work with Tim Verhoeven and Ralph Angenendt - both of whom are core members of the CentOS team.

Overall a great experience and I’m really looking forward to CentOS 6 and the possibility of a second edition of this book!

The Definitive Guide to MongoDB

MongoDB is an awesome database developed by the team over at 10gen. It is document orientated, extremely fast and scalable and basically just a dream to develop with. I owe the speed at which I completed my masters project to the power of MongoDB and the way it just  got out of the way and let me get things done.

I was invited to talk about MongoDB at a workshop held in Beijing. The first part was a brief talk on some of the highlights of MongoDB and how it had helped me in my work. It was a personal account really rather than a scientific analysis but honestly just quoting the numbers doesn’t do MongoDB justice.

The second part was a workshop where attendees were given a free copy of the “Alpha Program” version of the book and were asked to work through the examples and provide feedback. This they did and we ended up with a better book because of it! Everyone involved with the workshop is listed in the book itself as a personal thank you for their support.

Foundations of CentOS

Foundations of CentOS is similar in nature to the Definitive Guide - only the focus is quite different. Whereas the Definitive Guide focuses on servers and working on the command line, Foundations takes a more end-user approach and looks at how to do things in the graphical interface. It also deals with more user related issues such as printing and setting up the desktop.